Helen Storey

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Professor Helen Storey MBE[1] is an award winning British artist and designer[2] living and working in London.[3] She is Professor of Fashion Science at the University of the Arts, London[4] and Co-Director of The Helen Storey Foundation.[4]

Helen Storey portrait. Credit John Ross

Background and education[edit]

Helen Storey attended Hampstead Comprehensive School[3] in North London and graduated in Fashion from Kingston Polytechnic in 1981.[5][6] She trained with Valentino and Lancetti in Rome[7] before launching her own label in 1984.[8]


Between 1984 - 1995 Helen built her reputation in the fashion world.[8][9] She was awarded Most Innovative Designer and Best Designer Exporter in 1990[10] and nominated for British Designer of the Year in 1990 [11] and 1991.[9]

The Helen Storey label closed in 1995,[10] following which Helen wrote and published her autobiography, Fighting Fashion,[6] charting her personal experience within the industry. Published by Faber & Faber,[6] it was described by Sir Paul Smith as… ‘At last the truth – a perfect and witty account of life and British Fashion’.[12]

In 203, Helen co-created alongside her biologist sister, Kate Storey,[13] the project Primitive Streak,[8][14] a science-art collaboration elucidating eleven key events in human embryonic development. Primitive Streak is a collection of twenty seven dresses, which brings these eleven key events to life in textile form.[15] First funded by the Wellcome Trust,[16] Primitive Streak made its debut at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1997.[13] The exhibition has since gone on to win two awards, has toured in seven countries and has been seen by five million people.[17][18]

Helen Storey Foundation[edit]

In response to the success of Primitive Streak, Helen Storey and Caroline Coates [19] established The Helen Storey Foundation[20] in 1997, a not-for-profit arts organisation promoting creativity and innovation.[8]

The Foundation has collaborated with many scientists,[8] and has created eight international touring projects,[13][21] notably Primitive Streak,[15][22] Mental,[23][24] Wonderland[25][26] and Eye & I.[27][28]

Since 2008, Helen has been working with the Foundation on her current project Catalytic Clothing and other work.[18][29]

Catalytic Clothing[edit]

Catalytic Clothing seeks to explore how clothing and textiles can be used as a catalytic surface to purify air,[30] using nanotechnology applied through the laundry process to anyone's existing wardrobe of clothes.[31] It is the brainchild of Helen and scientist Tony Ryan.[31]

Catalytic Clothing was announced joint winner of the Sustainability category at the Condé Nast Traveller Innovation & Design Awards 2012.[32]

Academic Life[edit]

Helen is part of the team at The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion,[4] where she contributes to research, curriculum and enterprise activities.[33]

Other work[edit]

Helen shares much of her creative experience from over the years through the mentoring of others,[34] and helping shape policy of varying kinds.[28][35]


Visiting Professor, University of the Arts1998[14]
Fellow, RSA 1999[14]
Research Fellow, University of the Arts, February 2000[14]
Honorary Professorship, Heriot Watt University, 2001[14]
Honorary Professorship King's College London 2003[14]
Visiting Professor of Material Chemistry, Sheffield University 2008[8]
MBE for Services to The Arts – June 2009[1]
Honorary Doctor of Science University of Sheffield 2012[36]
Honorary Professor of Craft and Design (DJCA) University of Dundee 2012
Winner of the Condé Nast Traveler Award, for Best Design & Innovation for the Catalytic Clothing Project (Sustainability category) 2012[32]


Storey, Helen (1996). Fighting Fashion. Faber & Faber.
Contributor to the Designer Fact File, a guide to setting up a fashion business commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry and the British Fashion Council


  1. ^ a b The Telegraph's Amazing 15: Helen Storey MBE, fashion technologist, The Telegraph, London, 31 May 2012. Retrieved on 31 July 2012.
  2. ^ Eceiza, Laura (2008).Atlas of fashion designers. p. 220. Rockport Publishers, Beverly, MA, USA. ISBN 978-1-59253-661-0
  3. ^ a b Riddell, Mary. Interview: Helen Storey, New Statesman, London, 9 December 1997, Vol. 126 Issue 4351, p.32. Retrieved on 25 July 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Research Staff profiles retrieved from London College of Fashion website.
  5. ^ Queen honours Kingston alumni. Kingston University, London, 25 June 2009.
  6. ^ a b c My best teacher. Times Educational Supplement, London, 20 July 2001. Retrieved on 31 July 2012.
  7. ^ Alumni. Kingston University
  8. ^ a b c d e f Finnigan, Kate. Storey with a surprise ending. Telegraph, London, 20 May 2007. Retrieved on 25 July 2012.
  9. ^ a b Lobrano, Alec. In a Bind Designers strut pullovers, dresses and bodysuits in springy fabrics that cling to every last curve.. Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif, 12 March 1991. Retrieved on 25 July 2012
  10. ^ a b In an exclusive extract, Helen Storey charts the rise and fall of her empire. Helen's fall New Straits Times, Malaysia, 2 March 1997. Retrieved on 25 July 2012
  11. ^ Hochswender, Woody. Patterns New York Times, New York, 16 October 1990. Retrieved 25 July 2012
  12. ^ Storey, Helen (1996). Fighting Fashion. Faber & Faber, London. back cover. ISBN 978-0571179732
  13. ^ a b c Kohn, Marek. Helen and Kate Storey: science and art engaging the public Wellcome Trust, London.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Alumni at Kingston University, London. British Council
  15. ^ a b Find Your Primitive Streak. Evening Times, Glasgow, 7 August 2003. Retrieved on 25 July 2012.
  16. ^ The art of science Times Higher Education, London, 10 October 1997. Retrieved on 25 July 2012
  17. ^ Lamb, Liz. Helen Storey mixing science with fashion. The Journal, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1 March 2011. Retrieved on 1 August 2012.
  18. ^ a b From Fashion to Science a Talk by Helen Storey. Retrieved from Dundee City Council website on 1 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Designer Fact File - Caroline Coates". British Fashion Council. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  20. ^ Gwilt, A and Rissanen, T (2011). Shaping Sustainable Fashion: Changing the Way We Make and Use Clothes p. 179. Earthscan Ltd, London. ISBN 978-1-84971-241-5
  21. ^ Helen Storey's projects and collaborations. Retrieved from University of the Arts London website.
  22. ^ Storey, Helen and Storey, Kate. The Storey Sisters. Interview by Jenni Murray. BBC Radio 4, 9 March 2011. Retrieved on 31 July 2012.
  23. ^ Take A Walk Through One Woman's Mind in Wolverhampton Culture24, Brighton, 7 April 2003. Retrieved on 25 July 2012
  24. ^ Hackworth, Nick. Mental antics at the ICA Evening Standard, London, 16 July 2001. Retrieved on 25 July 2012
  25. ^ Around the houses: sound and vision Telegraph, Belfast, 17 October 2008. Retrieved on 25 July 2012
  26. ^ Levinson, R, Nicholson, H and Parry Simon (Eds.) (2008) Creative Encounters: New conversations in science, education and the arts. p. 27. The Wellcome Trust, London. ISBN 978-1-84129-077-5
  27. ^ Look into my eyes Times Educational Supplement, London, 1 July 2005. Retrieved on 25 July 2012
  28. ^ a b Maddock, Su (2007). The Journey of a Creative Thought Leader. The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, Volume 12(1), article 6. Retrieved on 31 July 2012.
  29. ^ We Are Free Radicals website.
  30. ^ Future Fashion: clothing that can purify air moves a step closer. The University of Sheffield, 2 April 2012. Retrieved on 31 July 2012.
  31. ^ a b Knight, Matthew. Grime-Fighting garments aim to purify air CNN, US, 4 January 2012. Retrieved on 25 July 2012
  32. ^ a b I&DA winners 2012. Condé Nast Traveller.
  33. ^ Professor Helen Storey. University of the Arts London, 17 March 2009. Retrieved on 31 July 2012.
  34. ^ Cosmo's Ultimate Women of the Year Awards 2008. Cosmopolitan, 10 November 2008. Retrieved on 1 August 2012.
  35. ^ All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education. National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education, May 1999. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  36. ^ Executive Summary of Business for Council - Report of the Honorary Degrees Committee. The University of Sheffield, 7 March 2012. Retrieved on 1 August 2012.

External Sources[edit]